Another Tampa Bay pedestrian is hospitalized. Last night, a man was hit by a hit and run driver near the 11700 block of Gulf Boulevard in Treasure Island, Florida. Police are looking for a red Nissan hatchback with tinted windows. The vehicle likely has some front-end damage, police said.
Unfortunately, these types of crashes seem to be occurring more often these days. Be it the nice weather or the economy making more and more people walking or riding bicycles, accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists can forever change a person's life or the lives of the family members.
In 2008, 4,378 pedestrians were killed and approximately 69,000 pedestrians injured in traffic crashes in the United States--that is approximately a pedestrian being killed in a traffic crash every 120 minutes and a pedestrian injured in a traffic crash every 8 minutes.
Both motorists and pedestrians can take steps to reduce these numbers. Here are a few recommendations:
- Drivers are required to and must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing streets in marked or unmarked crosswalks in most situations. Even if the pedestrian is not walking across the street in the correct location, drivers have an obligation to yield the right-of-way.
- Pedestrian need to be especially careful at intersections where the failure to yield right-of-way often occurs when drivers are turning onto another street and a pedestrian is in their path. Before crossing the intersection, walkers should check to make sure that there is no turning vehicle. I know that you have the little guy on the traffic light telling you that you can walk, but take a few seconds and check for cars.
- Pedestrians should always stop and look left, right, and left again before crossing. This same procedure can avoid car accidents when making a turn.
- If a parked vehicle is blocking the view of the street, the pedestrian should stop at the edge line of the vehicle and look around it before entering the street.
- Be seen! Pedestrian should increase visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and by wearing retro-reflective clothing that helps to highlight body movement.
- It is much safer to walk on a sidewalk, but if you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic.
A pedestrian accident or bicycle accident can result in substantial medical bills and months of lost work. Protect you and your family by purchasing underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. If the person who hits you is not carrying any insurance or inadequate liability coverage, your underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage can help your family bounce back from an unfortunate pedestrian vs. car accident or a bicycle vs. car accident.
For information about your legal rights after a pedestrian or bicycle accident, contact Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes. His Clearwater personal injury law firm--Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes--has been helping families after car accidents, motorcycle crashes, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, work injuries, Social Security Disability claims and other personal injury matters since 1955. Contact us today. We See You Through.